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writing for godot

The world is upside down when it becomes illegal to act with conscience against war crimes by a colonial power.

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Written by Eric Resnick   
Thursday, 03 January 2019 16:57

When we allow victimhood, tragedy and political opportunism to change our values, to blind us to genuine oppression, war crimes and dehumanization of our brothers and sisters anywhere, we surrender the blessed names of those killed to more atrocity.

On November 11 Israeli occupation forces murdered seven Palestinian civilians in Gaza in a covert operation.

A day later, as an act of resistance protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention and other international law – the right to resist an aggressive occupier – rockets were fired from Gaza.  Most of the crude rockets were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system, but one got through, killing an Israeli.

Israel’s immediate response was powerful ordnance delivered by F-16 aircraft.  It was declared the “worst Israeli violence in Gaza” since the massacre of the summer of 2014 that killed 2,300 Palestinian civilians and severely wounded 10,000 others, including 3,374 children, 1,000 permanently disabled, and leaving 10,000 families homeless.

Israel has admittedly occupied Gaza for 51 years and has kept it under brutal military blockade, a war crime, for 11 years.

Most of Gaza’s inhabitants are refugees.  This most recent Israeli attack killed five additional civilians and destroyed more homes and more already scarce life-supporting infrastructure; another war crime.

Settler colonialism is a distinct type of colonialism that forcibly replaces indigenous populations with a permanent invasive society.

Zionism is a settler colonial movement founded in the 1870s.  Judaism, a religion, has been around for thousands of years.  Genuine Judaism does not tolerate settler colonialism.  Conflating the two is absurd, though common.

Anyone who calls out Israel’s dehumanization of Palestinians and war crimes in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank risks being called an anti-Semite by Zionists.

Nothing is more Jewish than speaking out against human rights violations, even when Israel is the culprit.

The deliberate movement to re-brand and transform “anti-Semetism” from hatred of Jews to criticism of Israel and Zionism, began in earnest in 2005, and is actually called “New anti-Semetism.”  Coincidentally, or not, it was born the same year a Palestinian non-violent occupation resistance movement called BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) began to take hold.

“New anti-Semitism” is all about insulating Israel and Zionism from accountability.  It has nothing bona fide to do with Judaism.  It is based on a specious “3-D test: “delegitimization” and “demonization” (of Israel) and holding Israel to “double standards.”

Because it is the Zionists who control the power to decide what constitutes “legitimate criticism under this design, it is easy to see how courageous one has to be to point out even the most egregious of Israel’s offenses, let alone act.  Every tyrannical and criminal regime in history would love this free pass, including those who oppressed Jews.  How’s that for Double Standard?

Non-violent tactics to resist oppression are and should always be a very Jewish thing to do.  In fact, Jews were among the staunchest supporters of such movement when it was used to bring down Apartheid in South Africa.

BDS is effective, so it is no wonder that Zionists want to shut it down.

It should not be surprising that Zionist Jews have used the October 27 murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh to blame BDS more vigorously than the real antisemitism and White Nationalism that actually motivated apparent gunman Robert Bowers.  They are using Pittsburgh as an opportunity to advance legislation that would actually criminalize BDS, First Amendment be damned.

Congress is expected to consider anti-BDS legislation.

The Zionist Anti-Defamation League knows the truth about anti-BDS legislation, but under pressure from the broader Zionist enterprise, caved in and supports it anyway.

In the summer of 2016, however, ADL issued a memo supposed to be kept secret which says, “Simply put, ADL does not believe that anti-BDS legislation is a strategic way to combat the BDS movement or defend Israel and is ultimately harmful to the Jewish community.”

The memo further calls anti-BDS laws “ineffective, unworkable unconstitutional, and bad for the Jewish community.”

It is not known why ADL had a change of heart, but American policy makers should take note of this gaffe and agree that the First Amendment, not Israeli business, should be their first priority.

The Jewish newspaper The Forward observed November 5, “Just days after the deadliest anti-Semitic massacre in U.S. history, American Jewish establishment groups got one step closer to achieving one of their longstanding policy goals: Passage of a bill that would criminalize some boycotts of Israel.”

The article continues, “Those focusing on Israel in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh shooting are following the lead of Israeli officials, who immediately afterward sought to draw a link between left-wing criticism of their government’s policies and the anti-Semitic shooting.”

All Americans, maybe especially Jews, need to honor the lives of the 11 victims and their families by examining our values, and asking the tough questions about what we mean when we say, “Never Again.”

It’s an upside down world when it becomes illegal to act with conscience against war crimes by a colonial power.  Israel must not be given that immunity.

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+2 # Moxa 2019-01-09 18:26
Excellent article. When I was a teenager (1960's), I was a member of Habonim, a youth labor-Zionist movement. We were pretty much democratic socialists, and social justice and civil rights were cherished values.

It is with dismay that I have seen the term Zionist become synonymous with blind nationalism and cruel treatment of the Palestinians. It was not always a bad word.

You are completely correct: Israel's behavior does not represent Jewish values. To be sure, some Israelis are not hawkish, just as many Americans do not support the insane warmongering of our own country. The BDS movement is certainly more in line with traditional Jewish values than is the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
 

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